Sixers-Knicks Preview: Two Types of Bad

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Both of these teams at their current point are horrid. One will continue to stay that way for years to come. It ain't the Sixers.

No matter how you try to slice it, there is nothing good about being mediocre. Frankly, the product sucks; the fans and players alike become disinterested, and you're left with a team you can't be proud of. Watching a basketball slide through Arnett Moultrie's clasped hands night in and night out eventually begins to wear on you.

Both the Sixers and Knicks are the epitome of mediocrity this season, New York's being rather coincidental. One organization has a plan to remove themselves from that label, while the other may spend years dwelling in it. I'll let you decide who is who.

There is no dysfunction like the Knicks, especially this season, a year where they were (attempting) to challenge Miami for the Eastern Conference crown. Let's go down the lineup, a starting five which, even in March, Mike Woodson still cannot stop tinkering with.

  • Raymond Felton: He is having a career worst season, both on and off the court. Felton's shooting 39% from the floor, cannot play a lick of defense, and recently found himself sitting behind bars after his soon to be ex-wife had him arrested on gun charges. Who knows, he may go to jail. He's under contract through 2015, with a player option for 2016. Don't think he'll pass that up.
  • J.R. Smith: Smith has never made basketball look so anesthetically pleasing. His selection is horrifying; 36% of his shots come in the first 10 seconds of the shot clock, because of course they do. And the wrath of J.R. still hasn't come to a halt yet, because he's coached by a man without the backbone to bench him.
  • Carmelo Anthony: Left to carry the team with zero support. It is almost comical to think he would want to stay and player another five years there.
  • Amare Stoudemire: Still somehow starting, despite the stats showing that the Knicks play best when they go small. He's owed over $23 million next year, which does not look pretty, irregardless of the fact he'll be on an expiring deal.
  • Tyson Chandler: The oft-injured big man is still productive, but not necessarily anything special at this point in his career.
New York's issues only worsen at the top, driven by an owner in James Dolan who cannot get out of his own way. Offering Phil Jackson the head coaching job with Woodson still at the helm is laughable in its own right. Following up by offering Jackson a front office position but refusing to give him full control of personnel is as Knicksian as it gets, a slap in the face to an 11-time NBA champion who can clearly put together a successful team.

Yes, the Sixers have been as pitiful as the Knicks this year, and the standings would tell you they are an even larger embarrassment. After six games of Byron Mullens, I may even agree with you. But Philadelphia has a plan, to use the franchise's poor play and build up through the draft.

The Sixers will have two top picks in a highly touted draft, and 10 total in 2014. New York has six picks over the next five years. Sam Hinkie has cleared enough cap to do whatever the hell he so pleases. Dolan has handcuffed the Knicks cap wise, unable to bring in reinforcement for Anthony yet expect him to stay cause, hey, it's the Big Apple.

Philadelphia's temporary mediocrity will eventually propel them forward. The Knicks mediocrity will leave them at the bottom of the pack for years to come.

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